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Travel Expert Says Rise In Badly Behaved Tourists In Bali Is Due To Ignorance

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In the last month or so, it feels like there has been a huge rise in tourists behaving badly in Bali.

Some argue that the bad behavior has always been there and that now more incidences are being caught on camera, while others feel like incidences of disrespect by foreigners are skyrocketing.

Tourist Takes Photo Of Bali Temple.jpg

Officials in Bali have even launched a specialist task force to crack down on foreigners behaving badly.

From driving without helmets or even licenses to posing naked at sacred sites, there seems to be a new viral photo or video from Bali every day.

Understandably, many local people are at their wit’s end in frustration with ‘bad bules’ in Bali.

Many have taken to social media to vent their concerns, while others have approached the media to appeal to foreigners in Bali to do better.

Speaking to the press, one local woman, Megan Bintaranny, said that foreigners in Bali needed to be more accepting of local life. She referred to a specific incident where visitors complained about cockerels calling in the early hours of the morning. Bintaranny said, “when you choose to live in a local area, you need to accept [local noises]”.

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One travel expert has shared his views, noting that ignorance is perhaps the core issue at play.

Ravindra Singh Shekhawat, who is General Manager for Intrepid Travel’s operations in Bali, told reporters that the post-pandemic tourism boom has led to” tourists everywhere.”

He explained, “to a lot of people, Bali is considered more like a party island; that could be one of the reasons that people are not every aware of how traditional local people are.” Shekhawat’s observations are easily substantiated; to those totally unfamiliar with Bali it would be easy to think that life on the island is exclusively orientated around tourism.

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For those with a stronger working knowledge of Bali and its culture, it’s far clearer that the unique cultural heritage of the island is alive and well, and permeates through every element of daily life, including in the busiest tourist resort areas.

Shekhawat offered his two cents about the recent viral videos of foreigners screaming in the faces of local police officers when they were pulled over for driving violations.

Shekhawat shared, “as an outsider, you may have your opinion, but local people’s opinions should always matter as well.”

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He added ‘”it’s their land, it’s their island, and they should be allowed to follow their culture and tradition as they want to.”

It remains the case, however, that Bali is a super welcoming and hospitable place for tourists to visit.

Whether visiting for a couple of weeks or making the most of the 6-month socio-cultural visa, as long as you obey the law and respect the local culture, Bali remains as magical and fulfilling a place to explore as ever.


Much of the dialogue in the comments sections of the aforementioned viral posts has condemned all foreigners indiscriminately.

It only takes a few seconds of scrolling to think that the overarching consensus by local people is that all foreigners should be kicked off the island.

In reality, however, the frustration lies with foreigners who are outright breaking the law, mostly those who are operating businesses without the correct visas or permits.


For example, there have been dozens of cases reported of foreigners on normal tourist visas offering services such as nannying, hairdressing, tour guiding, and surfing lessons. Not only are they breaking the law, but they’re also taking work from local people. And this is the core issue.

From a government perspective, it is true that Governor Koster and Immigration officials have ordered a specialist task force to crack down on foreigners behaving badly and deport those caught breaking the law.

Once again, however, this is a tiny proportion of foreigners in Bali. To think tourism targets for arrivals to Indonesia this year are aimed at 7.4 million international visitors, with the vast majority headed for Bali.


With all this in mind, as officials and communities work to stamp out illegal activity, foreigners in Bali and tourists planning their vacations to the Island of the Gods can also play a role in resolving the tension.

Research, read up, and respect local Balinese culture. Your trip will be so much more life-enhancing for it.

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Thursday 20th of April 2023

1st up the problems and bad behaviour is coming from a relatively small % of tourists. Ignorance plays a very small part, most of it is hubris and ego.


Tuesday 18th of April 2023

Bali is an incredible country, but its no excuse for any foreigner irrespective of where they come from to disrespect the culture, the religion or the people . Life in bali is not the same as in other countries. Tourists need to show far more respect, & understand that what you might get away with elsewhere, you're very unlikely to in Bali . Don't make a fool of yourself & end up getting banned because of a stupid but preventable or unnecessary mistake.


Monday 17th of April 2023

What confused me as a tourist is Bali's a holy-island and also known as a party-island. So I'm here on a holyday or holiday?


Wednesday 19th of April 2023

@Seek, Lmfao!!!


Sunday 16th of April 2023

if you continue to build clubs you get club people. simple as that...


Monday 17th of April 2023

@arthur,Well said i agree, the beach clubs of which there are many are aimed at the party going 18-30 demographic. Its not rocket science as to how you have drunken, drugged up young people congregating in and around these locations. Also the influx of Russians and Ukranians escaping the war has created a signifcant amount of illegal foriegn workers just looking for ways to support themselves so they can stay as long as possible. Big mistake to upset the vast majority of tourists and expats who are respectful and bring real value to the Bali economy.


Monday 17th of April 2023


Bali used to be a tropical paradise. I could sit on Legian beach with not another soul in site. I could walk the length of Jalan Legian at night, and not see another person. Hard to believe huh? Greed, Pollution, trash, noise and narcissists destroyed Bali.

-It's game over.


Sunday 16th of April 2023

This site with its frequent articles, almost on a daily base about "o so bad foreigners in Bali” is literally promoting xenophobia among locals. Make your decision you Indonesians, you Balinese. Do you want tourists and tourist’s money or not? Xenophobic articles like this one finds only on Indonesian websites like here on “The Bali Sun”. Unimaginable such xenophobia in Thailand which has far more tourists! But Thais were always much smarter than Balinese.


Wednesday 19th of April 2023

@ByByBali-HiThailand, oh please get your head out of the sand. Thais are smarter than Balinese?? What a crock of sheet. Thais will be nice to farangs in front of your freakin face and behind your back, they will talk crap about you. So much for the land of smile. Have you really lived in Bangkok, Thailand or living there along with some desperate tourists looking to get laid. The sex tourism is real ugly in Thailand.

Why do you think that tourists have to act like they are entitled with visiting a developing country?? So you think breaking the laws and to be disrespectful to the culture and abuse the kindness of the locals is all ok???

So yes stay in Thailand and use them as much as your heart desires...


Wednesday 19th of April 2023

@Exp, Ain't That the truth!


Monday 17th of April 2023

Yes. Two type of articles; foreigner bashing or glowing info/ads for misc. local businesses.

The "bashing" of foreigners is prevalent even up to minster and governor levels. Whenever outsiders are making (valid) critics of the state of affairs here, locals will get up in arms and rain comments in a not so subtle language.

The only reason some gov. officials asked media to tone this type of "news" down is the risk for Bali looking bad...